The Wiz (store)


The Wiz (store)
The Wiz
Type Electronics
Industry Retail
Founded 1977 (electronics retailer, defunct 2003)
2004 (online retailer owned by P. C. Richard)
Headquarters Carteret, New Jersey
Products Computers, televisions, VCRs, and DVD players
Parent Cablevision (electronics chain)
P.C. Richard & Son (online retailer)
Website http://www.thewiz.com

The Wiz was a chain of electronic stores in the northeastern United States, located primarily in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some locations were in Canada as well. The chain was founded by four brothers, Douglas, Lawrence, Marvin, and Stephan Jemal, in New York City in 1977. Later, it officially changed its name to its well-known advertising slogan, "Nobody Beats The Wiz".

During the early-to-mid 1990s "Nobody Beats The Wiz" was a major sponsor for all local NY sports franchises, including the Devils, Islanders, Knicks, Mets, New Jersey Nets, Rangers, and Yankees, and had a significant television advertising presence during local sports events. It also sponsored teams outside the NY area such as the Flyers and Canadiens.

In 1998, after having expanded significantly, the chain filed for bankruptcy and was purchased by Cablevision for $80 million. Cablevision eventually dropped the Nobody Beats the Wiz slogan.

At its peak, the firm's revenues were $1.4 billion, with 2000 employees, operating 94 stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts. It also operated music-only stores in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area.

The 1977-1998 Nobody Beats The Wiz Logo

The chain closed permanently in 2003. According to a Stereophile article from February 16, 2003, a Cablevision press release stated: "Continuing to operate the stores is no longer a viable option for Cablevision as business conditions at the retailer eroded due to a weakened retail economy and other factors." Once the chain closed, one of its founders, Marvin Jemal, opened a new electronics chain, The Zone, in a number of former Wiz locations. The new chain, which heavily mentioned that it was from the founder of The Wiz, went out of business less than two years later.

Closing The Wiz left P. C. Richard & Son, J&R, 6th Avenue Electronics, Electronics Expo and B&H, as the New York City metro area's remaining regional electronics chains, with much of the consumer electronics market dominated by national chains such as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. P. C. Richard currently operates TheWiz.com, an online marketplace which uses the old "Nobody Beats The Wiz" logo.

In popular culture

The Wiz was included in the lyrics of the 1988 hip hop song "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.[1]

The Wiz was featured in the Seinfeld episode "The Junk Mail". While going through an old VHS tape, Jerry discovers an old commercial that features "The Wiz," a mascot for the electronics store of the same name. A full Wiz commercial is played during this episode, with actor Toby Huss superimposed over the footage wearing a crown and a cape, exclaiming "Nobody beats me because I'm the Wiz!"

The jingle is interpolated in the chorus of Biz Markie's song "Nobody Beats the Biz": Biz Markie substitutes "The Biz" for "The Wiz."

In an episode of "The Simpsons" Reverend Lovejoy had a slogan on his burning book mobile that says, "Nobody Beats The Rev!" It is a parody of (and reference to) the Wiz's slogan.

References

  1. ^ "lyrics.filestube.com", URL retrieved September 14, 2009

External links


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